Tuesday, the 28th December 1948
The Constituent Assembly of India met in the Constitution Hall, New Delhi, at Ten of the Clock, Mr. Vice-President (Dr. H. C. Mookherjee) in the Chair
Mr. Vice-President (Dr. H. C. Mookherjee): We may resume discussion of the Draft Constitution. The motion before the House is:
"That article 50 form part of the Constitution."
Shri Gopikrishna Vijayavargiya [United State of Gwalior-Indore-Malwa (Madhya Bharat)]: May we know up to what date the Assembly will continue if this can be ascertained, so that we may fix up our own programmes?
Mr. Vice-President: I shall be in a position to let the honourable Member have the information at a later date--by the end of this week or early next week.
(Amendment No. 1150 was not moved.)
Looking to the amendments 1 find that the first part of amendment No. 1151 and amendment No. 1152 are of similar import. Amendment No. 1152 which stands in the name of Mr.Karimuddin may be moved.
Kazi Syed Karimuddin (C.P. & Berar: Muslim): Mr. Vice-President, I move:
"That in clause (1) of article 50, after the words `for violation of the Constitution the words `treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanours,' be inserted.
This does not require any detailed speech. Under article 50 it is mentioned that there can be an impeachment of the President in regard to the crime of violation of the Constitution. In the American Constitution the grounds I have mentioned in the amendment are also mentioned. In my opinion it is very necessary that for impeachment of the President all these grounds should be embodied under article 50.
Mr. Vice-President: Does Prof. K. T. Shah want the first part of his amendment No. 1151 to be put to vote?
Prof. K. T. Shah (Bihar: General): I want to move it.
Mr. Vice-President: It cannot be moved. But I can put it to vote.
Prof. K. T. Shah: All right.
Mr. Vice-President: Prof. Shah may move the second part of amendment No. 1151.
Prof. K.T. Shah: I beg to move:
"That in clause (1) of article 50, for the words`either House' the words `the People's House' be substituted."
Is this the part I am allowed to move, Sir?
Mr. Vice-President: Yes.
Prof. K. T. Shah: In bringing this amendment before the House, I am following the usual practice that if impeachmentis to be made, it should be by the People's representatives and not by the other House, the Council of States. The Council of States would be composed of people not directly elected by the people. There may be some appointed elements in that House; and that Body may consist of representatives of units and interests rather than of the people themselves.
Now here are offences and the trial thereof, as against the Head of the State, which can, in my opinion, be only done by the House of the representatives of the people.After all, it is the people who are the sovereign in the scheme of the Constitution that this Draft presents, and that I have accepted. Under that scheme it should be thereall sovereign, the people, who should and sought, through their representatives, be empowered and entitled to try for such offences the Head of the State.
I think no further arguments are necessary from me to make it clear even to those who are fond of imitating others that this amendment only conforms to the existing practice in America and the West. This amendment, at any rate, cannot be opposed on that ground.
Mr. Vice-President: There are several amendments tot his amendment. The first one is amendment No. 30 in List Iof the Fifth Week. As the mover (Pandit Thakur DassBhargava) is absent, the amendment is not moved. The next two amendments, viz., 31 and 32 also stand in his name. Theyare also not moved as the Member is absent.
(Amendment No. 1153 was not moved.)
Amendments Nos. 1154 and 1155 are disallowed as being merely verbal amendments.
Amendments Nos. 1156 and 1160 to 1165 are of similar import. Of these, amendment No. 1156 seems to be the most comprehensive one and may
therefore be moved. It stands in the name of Shri Brajeshwar Prasad. The Member us absent and therefore the amendment is not moved.
The next comprehensive amendment is No. 1163 and may be moved. As the Member is absent it is not moved.
Then I allow Shri Shankarrao Deo to move amendment No.1160.
Shri Shankarrao Deo (Bombay: General): Mr. Vice-President, I move the following amendment which stands in my name:--
"That in sub-clause (a) of clause (2) of article 50 for the words `thirty members', the words `one-fourth of the total membership of the House' be substituted."
The necessity for this amendment is so obvious that I need not take the time of the House by adducing arguments in support of it. The impeachment charge is so grave that if it is proved, the President who is the head of public life and the dignity of the State will suffer. So, if anybody thinks of preferring this charge, he must do so realising the seriousness of the charge, and there must be a sufficient number of representatives coming forward to support that charge. In view of the seriousness of the step proposed, the number thirty is very small. So I suggest that at least one-fourth of the total number of members of the House should come forward to prefer such a serious charge against the President who represents the dignity of the State. I hope the House will accept this amendment.
Mr. Vice-President: Does the mover of amendment No.1161 want it to be put to vote?
An Honourable Member: No, Sir.
Mr. Vice-President: Does Kazi Syed Karimuddin want his amendment (No. 1162) to be put to vote?
Kazi Syed Karimuddin: Yes, Sir.
Mr. Vice-President: Prof. Shibbanlal Saksena may move his amendment No. 1164.
As the Member is not in the House, the amendment is not moved.
Amendments Nos. 1157, 1158 and 1159 are of similar import. Shri Jaspat Roy Kapoor may move amendment No. 1157.
(The amendment was not moved.)
Amendment No. 1158 standing in the name of Shri B. M.Gupta may now be moved.
Shri B. M. Gupte (Bombay: General): Mr. Vice-President,I beg to move:
"That in sub-clause (a) of clause (2) of article 50,for the words, `after a notice' the words `at least after 14days notice' be substituted."
Sir, the provision as it stands today mentions the notice, but specifies no period for it. If we refer toarticles 74, 77 and 158 which deal with the removal of theDeputy Chairman, Speaker, the Deputy Speaker of ParlI ament,and Speaker, Deputy Speaker of the State Legislature, we will find that everywhere 14 days' notice is provided. There is no reason why the same period should not be laid downhere. I have therefore suggested in my amendment that 14days' notice should be given. I hope the House will accept it.
Mr. Vice-President: Does the Member who has given notice of amendment No. 1159 (Mr. Mohd. Tahir) want that it should be put to vote?
Mr. Mohd. Tahir: (Bihar: Muslim): Yes, Sir.
Mr. Vice-President: Amendments Nos. 1166, 1167, 1168and 1169 are of similar import. Amendment No. 1167 may be moved. It stands in the name of Dr. Ambedkar.
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (Bombay: General):Sir, I move:
"That in sub-clause (b) of clause (2) of article 50,for the words `supported by' the words `passed by a majorityof' be substituted."
Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 1166 standing in thenames of Mr. Mohd. Tahir and Saiyid Jafar Imam.
Mr. Mohd. Tahir: I want to discuss it. My amendment is quite different from Dr. Ambedkar's. They are not the same.
Mr. Vice-President: It can be put to the vote. You can take part in the general discussion and make your point then. That will be much better. I think.
Amendment No. 1168 standing in the name of Mr.Naziruddin Ahmad. Do you want it to be put to vote?
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad (West Bengal: Muslim): Yes, Sir.
Mr. Vice-President: It seems it is identical with Dr.Ambedkar's amendment. Then, amendment No. 1169 standing in the name of Kazi Syed Karimuddin. Do you want it to be put to vote?
Kazi Syed Karimuddin: No, Sir.
Mr. Vice-President: The next in my list
is amendment No. 1170 standing in the name of Kazi Syed Karimuddin.
Kazi Syed Karimuddin: Mr. Vice-President, I move:
"That the following new sub-clause be inserted after sub-clause (b) of clause (2) of article 50:
`(c) the meeting shall be presided by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court whose decision on the admissibility of evidence shall be final.'"
There is no mention in article 50 as to who would preside at the meetings or sittings for the impeachment of the President. Therefore I have made an attempt to add a sub-clause in which it is laid down that the meetings or sittings shall be presided over by the Chief Justice of theSupreme Court. I suppose that if this amendment is not accepted, then either the Speaker or the Vice-President will have to preside at such meetings. Obviously there is an objection to the Vice-President as he is likely to succeed if the President is removed. The Speaker also should not beallowed to preside at these meetings because generally he is elected from the majority party. When there is an impeachment of the President, political passions will be running so high that there is bound to be an imperceptible change in the Vice-President or the Speaker. There is no doubt that there are instances in India and in England when the Speaker and the Vice-President have maintained the noble traditions of the House, but it is necessary not only that there should be justice but it should appear that you are doing justice. At such a critical time when there is an impeachment of the highest man in the country, it is very necessary that the presiding officer must be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
There is one more ground which is also very important and it is this that while impeaching the President, there would be several questions of law and fact and there will be also several questions about the admissibility of evidence.In a parlI amentary system of government, it is not very necessary that every one should be a lawyer or a judge, but surely when there will be so many mixed questions of law and facts and of the admissibility of evidence, it would be very difficult for a layman to decide such important questions.Impeachment can be based by a layman on wild rumours and hear say evidence. To decide whether a particular piece of evidence is admissible or not, it is very necessary that a man having legal acumen and having experience of law should be the presiding officer at such meetings or sittings.Therefore my submission is that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who is generally detached from public life should be requested to preside at such meetings. In the American Constitution there is such a provision. We take only those provisions from other constitutions which suit us
and reject others which do not suit us although they are very salutary. I make an appeal to Dr. Ambedkar to embody this amendment, particularly in view of the fact that when political passions are so high, it is very difficult for theSpeaker or the Vice-President to keep up their balance.
Mr. Vice-President: Amendments Nos. 1171, 1173 and 1176 all stand in the name of Prof. Shah. I suggest that he may move them one after the other.
Prof. K. T. Shah: Am I to move only one of them?
Mr.Vice-President: You can move all the three.
Prof. K. T. Shah: Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I beg to move:
"That in clause (3) of article 50, for the words`either House' the words `the People's House' be substituted and the words `or cause the charge to be investigated and the President shall have the right to appear and to be represented at such investigation' be deleted."
For clarification I will read the clause as amended by this amendment. The clause would be:
"When a charge has been so preferred by the House of the People, the other House shall investigate the charge."
Coming to the second amendment standing in my name, I move:
"That in clause (3) of article 50, after the word`investigated' a full stop be inserted."
"That after clause (3) of article 50, the following new clause be added:
`(3A) The President shall have the right to appear and to be represented at such investigation.'"
Sir, the first amendment is in consonance with an earlier amendment I moved, by which I sought to vest the power to investigate, the power to try, in the House of the People, and the Council of States, respectively; and not be left open to either House. The other House may investigate,and the President should have the right to be heard and be represented at such investigation. It is, of course, but the most rudimentary principle of jurisprudence that any man who is accused of any offence should have the right of being heard; and also of being defended by competent advisors or by competent counsel at such hearing or at such investigation. The right, therefore, of the President to be heard is given by this amendment specifically by an additional clause, and not made part of an earlier clause where other matters besides this are also included. The right of the sovereign people to charge the President, in my opinion, should be left untrammelled in this matter; and,similarly, the right of the President to be heard or to be represented by competent advisers should equally be explicitly stated, without linking up or coupling this one with the other, so that there may possibly be some doubt as regards procedure. My object, therefore, in putting forward this amendment is simply to bring in clarity of procedureand the removal of any possible doubt that hyper-ingenious lawyers might bring forward, or party passions might suggest. I therefore commend these amendments to the House,without taking any more time of the House.
Mr. Vice-President: The next three amendments which are grouped together are amendments Nos. 1172, 1174 and 1175.
(The Amendments were not moved.)
Amendments Nos. 1177, 1178 and 1179 are of similar import. Amendment No. 1177 may be moved.
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Sir, I beg to move:
"That in clause (4) of article 50, for the words`passed, supported by' the words `passed by a majority of 'be substituted."
Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 1178 stands in the name of Mr. Mohd. Tahir and Saiyid Jafar Imam.
(Mr. Mohd. Tahir rose to speak.)
Do you want to put it to vote? You can say what you have to say in the general discussion. I shall give you anopportunity.
Mr. Mohd. Tahir: My amendment is of quite a different nature and it has to be discussed and moved.
Mr. Vice-President: You make a specific suggestion about `two-thirds'. All right: you may come to the mike.
Mr. Mohd. Tahir: Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I beg to move:
"That in clause (4) of article 50, for the words `notl ess than two-thirds of the total membership of the House',the words `a majority of the members present and voting be substituted."
Sir, I have moved this amendment because the provision,as it is, that is to say, requiring the votes as two-thirds,in my opinion seems to be against the spirit of democracyand it can bring in many difficulties and confusion.
I will submit before the House a very simple example. Incase of the Chairman of a District Board, for instance, I think every Member of the House has got this experience. We have seen that a Chairman of a District Board for his misdeeds cannot be removed from the office unless two-thirdsof the members vote against him with the result that,however dishonest he may be, it is impossible for the members to remove him from office, simply because a man in office however incompetent or dishonest he may be, at least he has got some power in his hand and by using that power,he manages that two-thirds of the members should not go against him and he keeps at least more than one-third of themembers by his side, with the result that although the majority of the members are against his work in the DistrictBoard, we find that it is impossible for them to remove such a Chairman. It may be the same case with the President also,because the President will be in power and if there is are solution to impeach him, then it would be very difficult for the members to remove such
a President from the Office.I submit, Sir, that the most important thing that we are doing at present is the framing of this Constitution and we are deciding every article of our Constitution,--the most important thing--simply by majority of votes. Then, in the case of an officer against whom there is a resolution for impeachment--why should not such a resolution be decided by majority votes of the members present in the House?Therefore, Sir, in order to avoid all these difficulties, I have moved this amendment, and I hope this House will consider it deeply and decide that the amendment be accepted. With these words, I move.
(Amendment No. 1179 was not moved.)
Mr. Vice-President: The next three amendments standingin the name of Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad, Nos. 1180, 1181 and1182 are disallowed.
Amendment No. 1183 may be moved. It stands in the nameof Prof. K. T. Shah.
Prof. K. T. Shah: Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I beg tomove:
"That in clause (4) of article 50, after the words`such resolution shall' the words `be placed before thePeople's House, and if adopted by the latter, shall' beinserted."
The clause as altered would read:--
"If as a result of the investigation a resolution ispassed, supported by not less than two--thirds of the totalmembership of the House by which the charge was investigatedor caused to be investigated, declaring that the chargepreferred against the President has been sustained, suchresolution shall be placed before the People's House, and ifadopted by the latter, shall have the effect of removing thePresident from his office as from the date on which theresolution is so passed."
Sir, there is one safeguard added by my amendment,namely, that immediately the judgment is passed or theresolution is adopted by the other House, according to thescheme of this Constitution, the Resolution wouldautomatically have the effect of removing the President. Ido not think that would be quite in consonance with ourconception of fair justice being done to the accused andespecially in the case of such highly exalted officers, orin the case of such offences as are likely to be thesubject-matter of this investigation.
After all, the cases would be in all probability caseswhere politics would play a considerable part. They wouldnot be pure questions of law or fact; but a good deal ofopinion, a good deal of view-point, a good deal of the angleof approach would be involved. On that account, the judgmentof one House by itself should not, I suggest, be madeautomatically effective, and the exalted officer be made tocease immediately thereafter to have any place in the schemeof things.
In the several amendments that I have the honour toplace before this House, I have, of course, laid emphasis onthe fact that the one House investigates and the other Housetries; one House makes the accusation, and the other Housedetermines the validity of that accusation. In that schemeof things, I think that it is important, it is but right andproper, that the President should be not only found guilty,and a resolution to that effect be passed by the House whichtried him. But what is still more important is that theresolution should be further confirmed by the other House aswell.
Mr. Tajamul Husain (Bihar: Muslim): Which has accusedhim?
Prof. K. T. Shah: Which has accused him. You would,therefore, have the same procedure in a slightly differentform, of the two Houses agreeing in a measure, which is tobe a measure of ParlI ament. Thus would this step become ameasure of the whole legislature,--and in the last analysis,a measure as desired by the sovereign people through theirrepresentatives.
I do not think that this safeguard will in any wayoffend against the requirements of fairness as well as therequirements of expediting such matters. It is not adilatory procedure by any means. What is positive in itsfavour is that it will give, so to say, one more chance topolitical passions coming down, and the party concernedgetting a fair verdict or at least a chance of vindicationthat may otherwise be denied.
particularly anxious that, since the tryingprocedure is vested, according at least to my scheme ofthings, in the Upper House, which is relatively a smallerbody, and composed of the representatives of interests orthe Units and which therefore is not directly representativeof the people's will, a resolution of that House should notbe taken to be operative immediately; and that there shouldbe one more chance of the direct representatives of thepeople having their final say on the matter.
Whether you regard it in the shape of a kind ofreprieve; whether you regard it as a kind of supreme pardon,or whatever way you like to look upon it,--I am afraid Icannot give a correct analogy or parallel--it is one morechance, in my opinion, for real justice being done, ratherthan suffer momentary exigency or political prejudices toprevail. Accordingly, I put it to the House that it would beerring,--if at all it is erring,--on the side of justice andfairplay, and as such it should be accepted.
(Amendment No. 1184 was not moved.)
Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 1185. Mr. NaziruddinAhmad.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad: Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I beg tomove:
"That in clause (4) of article 50, for the words `dateon which', the words `time where be substituted."
Sir, I submit this is a very important amendments. Uponthe acceptance of this amendment, a deadlock would beavoided and I hope honourable Members will kindly hear whatI have to say. Dr. Ambedkar is not bearing.
Mr. Tajamul Hussin: The whole House is hearing.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad: The whole House is useless unlessDr. Ambedkar agrees. (Interruption.)
Mr. Vice-President: That is a reflection, I think,(Interruption.)
Mr. Tajamul Husain: We want to hear you.(Interruption.)
Shri H. V. Kamath (C.P. & Berar: General): Is thatstatement in order Sir?
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad: I withdraw it. Sir, I moveamendment No. 1185. I consider this amendment to be veryimportant and I desire the House should listen. This has reference to the impeachment of thePresident. It is provided that as soon as the appropriateHouse passes a resolution declaring that the charge againstthe President has been substantiated--I refer to clause (4)of article 50--it will have the effect of removing thePresident "as from the date on which the resolution ispassed". I submit, Sir, that this will lead to an impasse.By another article, article 54, clause (1), it is providedthat as soon as the President is removed by a resolution,the Vice-President steps in from the `date' on which thePresident is removed and, under article 54, clause (1), theVice-President shall act "until the date on which" the newPresident enters upon his office. There is an amendment tothat article also which is connected with this: that isamendment No. 1207. I submit, Sir, that the President, if heis removed, is removed with effect from the time when theresolution is passed and not from the date. I will ask the House to consider a situation. Supposing the appropriateHouse under clause (4) of article 50 passes a resolution,say, at one o'clock, then according to clause (4) thePresident is removed as from the date on which theresolution is passed. I ask what will happen to acts done bythe President on that date before one o'clock? The Presidentmay have declared an emergency under the Constitution in themorning; he may have, in the morning, assented to Bills. Hemay have appointed a Judge of the Federal Court; he may havedismissed or appointed a Ministry in the morning before hisremoval. If we allow clause (4) to remain as it is thePresident is removed with effect from the date on which theresolution is passed, that is, with effect from the periodafter the previous mid-night. The date begins after the mid-night. I ask what will happen to acts done by the Presidentduring the fateful day before his removal? I submit, Sir,his dismissal or removal must have reference to theparticular time when he is removed. Otherwise, the Vice-President will step in as soon as there is a vacancy. Thisclause says the vacancy has effect from the date of hisremoval,
that is before his removal. The Vice-Presidentsays, "I am the President with effect from the early morningof the `date' of his removal". What will happen if the Vice-President acts retrospectively? He says, `I am the Presidentin the place of the President'. The President says, `I wasthe President duly functioning before and up to the verymoment of my removal'. I submit, Sir, that the words that heis removed with effect from the date on which the resolutionis passed would be unhappy and would lead to absurdconsequences. It will lead to a constitutional impasse andprobably the Federal Court will have to decide it withoutany data. Commonsense says that the President shouldfunction till the time, that is the moment when he isdismissed, immediately after the resolution is carried. Assoon as the resolution is carried, the President ceases tofunction. Up to that time his acts should be upheld and forthat purpose the amendment is necessary. The text says that"He ceases to function with effect from the date on which heis removed" but the amendment says "that he would be removedwith effect from the point of time the resolution ispassed". There is a similar amendment to article 54 sayingthat the Vice-President shall act as President until thedate on which the new President is appointed. In fact thatmust also be linked up with the point of time at which thenew President is elected. If we provide for a whole dayinstead of a particular point of time, it will lead toabsurdities. I submit this should be carefully considered bythe House and accepted. The legality of the President's actson the date of his removal but prior to the actual moment ofhis removal will be jeopardy.
Mr. Tajamul Husain: Sir, I rise on a point of order.While Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad was moving his amendment, hedeliberately said that he was addressing Dr. Ambedkar whowas busy otherwise and he was not addressing the House oryou. Now the point is this that when a Member speaks headdresses the Chair or the House. He does not address aparticular Member who is in charge of the bill. Therefore, Sir, my point of order is this thatyou should hold that Mr. Naziruddin is guilty of contempt of the Chair and of the whole House and if that is yourfinding, a charge should be framed against him as underarticle 50 when the President is being impeached, he shouldbe impeached by this House--as there is no other House whichcan try him and we are the supreme body and sovereign body--and we will make a charge against him and we will try himand you will preside over it. As the honourable Member saiddeliberately that he was not addressing the Chair or the House, he is guilty of contempt of the Chair and the wholeHouse. I want a ruling, Sir.
Mr. Vice-President: The ruling will be given afterproper consideration. I do not want to do anything in apassion.
Mr. Naziruddin Ahmad: I was not addressing anyindividual Member. I only insisted that the most importantMember in the House should listen.
Mr. Vice-President: We shall pass on to the nextamendment. No. 1186.
Prof. K. T. Shah: Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I beg tomove:
"That at the end of clause (4) of article 50, the words`by both Houses of ParlI ament' be added."
And the clause would then read--I am omitting the first fourlines because I have already read that--
"which resolution shall have the effect of removing thePresident from his office as from the date on which theresolution is passed by both Houses of ParlI ament."
and not only by one.
Sir, I regard you as the most important Member for thetime being, and not the Chairman of the Drafting Committee;and I therefore address the House through you which I trustwill listen sympathetically to the argument I am going toplace before you, as I regard all other Members of thisHouse to be equal inter se.
The point I have made is that the Resolution convictingthe President on impeachment must be passed and adopted bynot only one but by both Houses. It is in conformity with the general scheme of the amendments which I have suggestedthat one House should start the proceedings,
the othershould investigate and pronounce its judgment embodied in aResolution; and that Resolution be finally confirmed by theother House.
Unless and until that is done, I have been maintainingthat the cause of justice would suffer; and in the interest,therefore, of fairness and justice, this is a consequentialamendment flowing from those which I have had the honour ofplacing before the House viz., that the Resolution must beconfirmed by both Houses, and that it should have effectonly on the day that it is similarly confirmed by the otherHouse which has not tried, the impeached President alongwith the House which tried and passed a Resolution of thatkind.
Mr. Vice-President: Amendment No. 1187.
Kazi Syed Karimuddin: Mr. Vice-President, Sir, I movethe amendment standing in my name--
"That the following be added at the end of clause (4)of article 50:--
`and it shall operate as a disqualification to hold andenjoy any office of honour trust or profit under the Indian Union.'"
Clause (4) in article 50 lays down that ifinvestigation is successful and a resolution is passed thePresident shall be removed from his office, but this clause(4) does not lay down any disqualification. Therefore I havemoved that after the impeachment is successful and after heis removed from his office, this should operate as adisqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honour, trust or profit under the Indian Union. I hope the House will accept this amendment.
(Amendments Nos. 1188 and 1189 were not moved.)
Mr. Vice-President: The article is now open for generaldiscussion.
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari (Madras: General): Sir,before throwing open this article for general discussion;there is one minor amendment necessary for the amendmentmoved by Shri Shankarrao Deo, i.e., No. 1160, to make itread aright. As it is, the amendment speaks of substitutingthe words "one fourth of the total membership of the House."But the correct wording should be "one-fourth of the totalnumber of members". In the event of the House accepting theamendment moved by Shri Shankarrao Deo, this minor amendmentwhich I now suggest, is necessary, and if you think thatamendment should be moved before throwing open the articlefor general discussion, it may be moved now.
Mr. Vice-President: Does the House allow this amendmentto be moved in order to make the meaning clearer?
Honourable Members: Yes.
Mr. Vice-President: Then it may be formally moved byyou, Mr. Krishnamachari.
Shri T. T. Krishnamachari: Sir, I move:
"That in the amendment No. 1160 moved by Shri ShankarraDeo, the words "one-fourth of the total membership of the House" be replaced by the words "one-fourth of the totalnumber of members."
Mr. Vice-President: Now, Mr. Kamath can speak on thearticle in general.
Shri L. Krishnaswami Bharathi (Madras: General): Inthat case, Sir, sub-clause (b) of clause (2) of article 50also requires a slight change. The sub-clause says--"unlesssuch resolution has been supported by not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the House." Therefore, thesame case arises there also, and that sub-clause also shouldbe suitably amended.
Mr. Vice-President: Mr. Kamath.
Shri. H. V. Kamath (C.P. and Berar: General): Mr. Vice-President, Sir, this is an important article of tremendousimport in that it provides for the arrangement, theimpeachment and the removal from office, of the President of the Indian Union. In any ordinary trial, in any criminaltrial, the presiding officer of the tribunal is one who isexpected to be impartial, and a man of the completestintegrity. I hope that we in India shall not have anyoccasion to invoke the aid of this article, and that all ourPresidents will be thoroughly constitutional and ofimpeccable integrity. But Sir, we have got to makeprovisions against human frailty and that is why we have gotto incorporate an article of this nature in ourConstitution. But it is very necessary, absolutely essentialthat when you proceed to impeach the President of the IndianRepublic for violation of the Constitution, I say it
isabsolutely necessary that the officer presiding over such aninvestigation must be a man who is above party politics, anda man of the completest integrity and impartiality. In thiscontext, Sir, the amendment moved by Mr. Karimuddin acquiressome importance. The article as it stands says that when acharge has been so preferred--I am referring to clause (3)of the article,--when a charge has been so preferred byeither House of ParlI ament, the other House shallinvestigate the charge or cause the charge to beinvestigated. It is quite possible and probable that theother House may investigate the charge, or perhaps it mayproceed to appoint another tribunal consisting of its ownmembers and some others, to investigate the charge. But ineither case, it is necessary that the Presiding officer of the House which is investigating the charge should not preside over the impeachment proceedings. Suppose, forinstance, the Upper House prefers the charge and the LowerHouse investigates it. Then, what is the position? The LowerHouse is presided over by the Speaker. Do we intend that theSpeaker of the House of the People shall preside over theimpeachment proceedings? The Speaker is almost always aparty man, and the President is being impeached for someviolation consequent upon a conflict that might have arisenbetween him and the party in power. Naturally, therefore,the Speaker who is a member of the party in power cannot beexpected to be impartial and of the completest integrity inthis particular affair. Suppose the charge is beinginvestigated by the Upper House after it has been preferredby the Lower House. As the article stands, the Vice-President will preside over the proceedings. But, Sir, manis after all a frail creature. The Vice-President may haveat the back of his mind the idea that if the President isimpeached and removed from office, he will be able to stepinto his shoes. The Vice-President, therefore, will be, moreor less, an interested man, because, if the impeachmentsucceeds and the President goes out of office, the Chairmanof the Council of State will be able to step into his shoesand become the President. He may be interested in seeingthat the impeachment succeeds. So in either case, whetherthe Lower House presides over the proceedings of impeachmentor the Upper House, the presiding officer of that Housecannot be expected to be impartial and absolutely aboveparty politics, or above party passions, and of thecompletest rectitude, in those proceedings. Therefore, it isvery necessary that the Chief Justice of India shouldpreside over the investigation of the charge preferredagainst the President. He must have the last word not merelyupon the conduct of the trial but also on all matters suchas admissibility of evidence and cognate matters. Here, Iwill, with your permission, Sir, qoote from "The Constitutional History of the United States" by A. C. MacLaughlin.
"When President Andrew Johnson was being tried beforethe Senate--the Chief Justice presiding--a similar questionabout the admissibility of evidence arose, and the Senatedecided that the Presiding Officer might rule on theadmissibility of evidence, and the ruling should stand,unless there was a division, in which case, the questionshould be passed on by the Senate itself."
Here the President was being tried and the ChiefJustice was presiding, and in the course of the trial, aquestion arose and it was ruled that the Chief Justice musthave the power to decide about the admissibility ofevidence. Here also, I think, the same procedure should beadopted, for the impeachment of the President of the IndianRepublic, and the Presiding Officer of the investigationshould be the Chief Justice of India, who is neither theSpeaker of the House of the People nor the Chairman of theCouncil of States. I therefore, land my support to theamendment moved by Mr. Karimuddin, to the effect that theChief Justice of India should preside over the investigationin connection with the impeachment of the President.
Sir, Mr. K. T. Shah moved an amendment, I refer toamendment No. 1183. Of course, his
whole scheme is that thecharge should be preferred by the Lower House, that it mustoriginate, that it must be initiated by the Lower House, andthat it should be investigated by the Upper House. I do notsubscribe to this particular proposition, that it should beinitiated only by the Lower House; it may arise either in the Lower House or in the Upper House. But if it arises ineither of the two Houses, the other House investigates it. Ihowever support him in so far as amendment No. 1183 saysthat the House which investigates the charge and finds it tobe sustained should not have the last word as regards theremoval of the President. The resolution, or the charge, iffound sustained by the other House, the House other than the House that preferred the charge, that resolution must goback to the House that preferred the charge, because the President should be impeached, and removed, not by the voteof one House only, but by the vote of both Houses.Therefore, it is important that in the constitution weshould provide definitely, unambiguously and unequivocallythat the President, if he is to be removed at all from hishigh office, must be removed by the vote of both Houses andnot of one House only. The arguments advanced by Prof. K.T.Shah are sound. In the course of the trial, many months mayelapse and it may be that certain prejudices and partypassions which dictated the preferment of the charge mightsubside and perhaps when it goes back to the other House, itmay be--I do not say it will always be so--it may be that the charge which was preferred by that House may be found,on further reflection that it could not be justly and fullysustained. So, both amendments No. 1183 and No. 1186 movedby Prof. K. T. Shah are important in this respect becausethey have the effect of removing the President of India by avote of both the Houses and not by the vote of a singleHouse, namely, the House which investigated the chargepreferred by the other House and found it sustained onevidence advanced before it. Therefore, I think, Sir, that these amendments must be incorporated in some form or otherin our Constitution. Just as in a criminal trial the Policehold a preliminary enquiry and then the case comes before aCourt of law where the presiding officer is above theprosecution and above the defence, similarly when the chargepreferred by the other House is investigated the presidingofficer must be the Chief Justice of India because he isneither the Speaker of the House of People nor the Chairmanof the Council of States. That is as regards the firstamendment moved by my Friend Mr. Karimuddin.
Secondly, as regards the two amendments moved by Prof.K. T. Shah to the effect that the President must be removedby the final vote of both the House and not by the vote of asingle House only. This is also a very sound principle andmust be embodied in the Constitution.
Then there is amendment No. 1187 of my Friend Mr.Karimuddin again, that the President, after he has beenimpeached and removed from office, must not be eligible forany office of profit or honour or trust in the Indian Union.It follows--I think it is a matter of integrity in publiclife, of the standards of public conduct which we proclaimedat Jaipur the other day--it follows that thePresident........
My Friend Mr. Husain is smiling chuckling to himself. Ido not know what his smile means, whether the Jaipur......
Mr. Tajamul Husain: It does not follow.
Shri H. V. Kamath: I leave it to Mr. Husain to explainwhy it does not follow. I will say only this much, that thePresident has been removed for a gross violation of the Constitution by an impeachment and an adverse vote of boththe Houses; do we contemplate, do we visualise that such aman, such a high dignitary, when he has been removed byParlI ament from office should be eligible for an office oftrust or honour in the Indian Union? No, a thousand timesno. We shall keep such a man away from all office and allhonour or trust so far as our country is concerned. Itherefore lend my support to amendment No. 1187 as well.
Pandit Thakur Dass
Bhargava (East Punjab: General):*[Mr. Vice-President, I do not agree with the wording ofthis article 50. In the first instance there is this defectin article 50 that only the President has been mentionedtherein, though there would be many occasions when the Vice-President would act as President. For that there is noprovision. In such case, if there is any violation of the Constitution, the responsibility would clearly be that of the Vice-President, who
*  Translation of Hindustani speech.
would be held responsible for his actions. For this reason,the Vice-President should also have been mentioned in this article.
Another short-coming which I find in this article isthat the words "Violation of the Constitution" have nowherebeen defined. There can be "Violation of the Constitution"in various ways, e.g., by not conforming to the instructionscontained in Schedule Four; by not fulfilling theundertaking imposed by the Oath under Article 49. and infailing to carry out his other functions. Hence, these words"Violation of the Constitution" are vague and requireclarification. The President will be the highest official of the Indian Union, and there is a possibility of his beingunnecessarily harassed for his act on account of thepresence of those vague words. This is a very undesirableposition.
The third short-coming, which I find, is that in theface of the vague wording, the condition of thirty membersgiving notice of such resolution is not a sufficientsafeguard. I think a notice by one-fourth of the totalmembership should be necessary. This amendment is varynecessary, and I support it. The additional safeguard that the Resolution should be passed by two-thirds of the totalmembership is also necessary.
The stage for investigation could be reached afterthese conditions have been satisfied, and the enquiry willthen be conducted by the other House. Under article 50 (3),either the House would investigate the charge itself orappoint somebody else for the work. If the House undertakesthe investigation itself, then there is no reason why thePresident of the House should not continue to act asPresident. The Speaker of the House of People--is mosttrustworthy person and he is above all party-politics. Hecan be fully trusted to act justly without fear or favour.The agrument of Mr. Kamath that since the Chairman of theCouncil of States would also be the Vice-President and so heis not likely to act justly because by the removal of thePresident he gets a chance to act otherwise, is untenable.Firstly, he would not be the only judge and secondly hewould not be so characterless as to cast away all fairness.In this connection, and important question that arises isthat if after investigation the charge is substantiated,then the condition of fixing the two-third majority ofmember would make the right of impeachment quite illusory.To fetter justice by so many restrictions is not proper.There are sufficient and proper safeguards against frivolousaccusations in sub-clauses (a) and (b). The result of theenquiry of the House being in support of the charge or thejudgment of the Supreme Court or any higher court to thateffect, will change the whole position. Under thesecircumstances there is no necessity of the condition that the Resolution should be confirmed by a two-thirds majority;rather, a bare majority should be enough. If as a result ofinvestigation the charge is not proved, then the question ofpassing the resolution does not arise. If a two-thirdsmajority has the right to pass a resolution only in theevent when it supports the charge, then it would be aninsult to the House, which has investigated the charge, orto the Court appointed for the purpose. In the other case,there is no occasion or justification for passing aresolution. Of course, if the charge is proved the Houseshould have the right to confirm the resolution by baremajority. The entire article 50 remains quite vague andunsatisfactory by not providing any definite machinery andmethod of investigation in 50 (3) and by not
indicating theresult as a definite outcome of the investigation in 50 (4).No doubt, this article would be rarely put to use, but, eventhen, whenever it would be used difficulties in its properapplication will have to be faced. In it present form itscorrect interpretation would become impossible.
My submission is that if the amendments, to which I have alluded, are not incorporated, then many difficultieswould crop up. Another minor point which I want to make isthat in cases where the violation of the Constitution by thePresident is so expressly pronounced that both the Houseswant to play the accusers, then the question will arisewhich House would be the accuse. and which the investigating authority. Though it is notprobable, there is no provision here for such a contingency.There should be some provision that in such and such casesthe House of the People should be the accuser and theCouncil of States should be the investigating authority.With these words I support the article.]
Shri Kuladhar Chaudha (Assam: General): Mr. Vice-President, Sir, while you have given a chance to theimportant, more important and the most important people, I am glad that you have now given a chance to the mostunimportant side of the House.
The trial of the President is a very important matterand requires careful consideration from the Members of thisHouse. Mr. Karimuddin's amendment seems to be very sensible,very fair and impartial. When we try a man of distinguishedposition and dignity the trial should be presided over bysuch a person who would be detached from party passions andprejudices. And who could that person possibly be? The ChiefJustice of the Federal Court can be the only person who willbe the fit person. He will bring into the trial suchimpartial views as the Speaker will be unable to do. Intrying our highest personage it is necessary that we shouldhave a man presiding who will be absolutely free from anybias and who will be free from party prejudices. TheSpeaker, however high a person he might possibly be, willyet not be away from party leanings and party prejudices, aswe find everywhere.
This is a very small amendment and it requiresconsideration not because it has come from a party, or froma person who does not belong to our party--if that is theconsideration I think we will be doing an injustice toourselves--but we should be fair to all who bring sensibleamendments. I wish I could have followed Pandit Bhargava whospoke in high-flown Hindustani which is not understandableby us, but from what I partially followed it was hardlyconvincing. The Speaker will not be able to bring in properdiscussion on the subject. Apart from that he may not be agreat lawyer. He may be a very popular person, but he maynot be the best person, and may be one backed by themajority. As such his ideas about the admissibility orinadmissibility of evidence will be a matter of greatconjecture, and they may possibly be awayed by rumours andother things. And evidence may be let in which may causeprejudice to the great personage. I suggest that we shouldview this amendment dispassionately and allow the ChiefJustice to preside over the trial of the President who willbe the most distinguished man we will have in our country.As such I humbly suggest that you may consider the matterand think over the amendment of Mr. Karimuddin.
In the American constitution they have made provisionfor the Chief Justice to preside over such trial. In fact,in the trial of President Johnson, it was found that unlesshe had been there the President would have been dismissed.But he allowed such evidence that was proper and thereforethe President just escaped from being chucked out anddismissed from office. Similarly in our country also weshould try to be fair and just.
I think our party will consider this very wholesome andsensible amendment which has been so ably supported by Mr.Kamath.
Shri B. Das (Orissa: General): Sir, I speak with muchdiffidence. We are trying to create a democratic President,but we are suspicious and the House is suspicious. TheMembers, after the
recess, after returning from Jaipur, arevery much subdued. They do not frankly and openly say whatis in their mind. Yet, the few amendments that have beenmoved by those with whom I do not see eye to eye, and otherstabled and not moved show that there is suspicion in theminds of Members.
Mr. Vice-President: Is it necessary for Mr. Das torefer to Jaipur? Members have again and again referred toit. I do not know what Jaipur has to do with the proceedingsof this House.
Shri B. Das: I do not know why Members are subduedArticle 47 to 50 are the most important articles regardingthe President. Are we creating a democratic President or arewe creating a Frankenstein? Under article 50, we arediscussing at present about our suspiciousness of thePresident and are considering in what way he can beprosecuted for misdemeanours to the Constitution. That showsthat we are not creating a democratic President. By means of the various amendments moved and not moved, many Memberswant to further restrict the hands of the President. Humanminds have travelled far backwards and to the memory ofnapoleon, a common man who was elected as President andbecame an autocratic Emperor. We have the recent memories ofSouth American Presidents who suddenly became greatautocrats and dictators in those so-called republics whichabound in South America. Unfortunately, we have to seewhether we are giving any dictatorial powers to ourPresident. Though he may be guided by a democratic Cabinet,is it safe to entrust him with dictatorial powers? With allhuman weaknesses, will a democratic President remaindemocratic and not turn autocratic? Sir, the amendments thathave not been moved indicate that we are human beings andhave cur suspicions about the democratic President turningautocratic. Many want that he should not be a baby of 35years, but should be an elderly statesman. My own amendmentNo. 1185 I did not move, hoping that the President willprove to be a gentleman always. It is to this effect: NoPresident should seek service under the Union Government oras the Governor of a State after he retires from thePresidentship of the Republic of India. Why should thathuman weakness manifest in our elderly statesmen? Why shouldhe seek to become an Ambassador or a Governor? Sir, thesethings are agitating our minds. It is for the democraticPresident to prove that he is above all these allurements.
Sir, I have had experience of these suspicious conductsin the recent past, in the days of British Government; aGovernor of Madras, after retirement, came here as theGovernor-General of India and his wife looked at it as ameans of getting fabulous presents and other gains. We haveto consider whether the democratic President we are going tohave under articles 41 to 51 will not later on turn out tobe autocratic President and accept presents and otherperquisites. Such presents are not small sums. The jewelleryand other presents go up to lakhs and crores. We have to seethat our future President, his wife, his daughters or hisdaughter-in-laws are not allowed to accept such presents. Iwish that my esteemed Friend Dr. Ambedkar devises aprovision which will make all presents received by aPresident or his family during the time he occupies the Gadiat Delhi accrue to the Nation and become State property. Thebenefit of such presents should not go to the President orhis dependants.
Sir, if I sought permission to speak, I did so only tovoice the feelings of many Members. We are all human beings.We are not Thakkar Bapa or Mahatma Gandhi or even you, Mr.Vice-President. My mind is suspicious. All my politicalcareer I have been suspicious of every Englishman and I havebeen suspicious of those who have been trained in theBritish traditions. Therefore I want to know what we aregoing to do to allay these suspicious. The speeches made onthe floor of the House show that we are suspicious of ourPresident. That being the case, why not we make mattersclear? We cannot expect that because we may have a Presidentwell trained in the school of Mahatama Gandhi, others maynot seek Governorships and the like.
While considering thearticle under reference we have to bear in mind that we aregiving autocratic powers to pass Ordinances and otherdictatorial controls to the President and the Cabinet. Sir,these are my observations.
Mr. Tajamul Husain: *[Mr. Vice-President, my learnedFriend Mr. Tahir has moved amendment No. 1178......]
Mr. Vice-President: Our South Indian friends haverepeatedly told me that they cannot follow highflownlanguage. You are at liberty to speak in any language youlike; but if you want to influence their votes you mustspeak in English. It is for you to decide.
Mr. Tajamul Husain: Because a friend or mine PanditBhargava spoke in beautiful Hindustani, I wanted to show to the House that I was also capable of speaking in my mothertongue as well as a person from Delhi, although I come froma long way off, Bihar.
Mr. Vice-President: He comes from East Punjab.
Mr. Tajamul Husain: Punjabi is not Hindustani. However,I shall speak in English, Sir.
Mr. Tahir has moved his amendment to this article. Thearticle says that when the ParlI ament wants to censure thePresident of the Indian Republic it should at least pass aresolution to that effect by a majority of not less thantwo-thirds of the members present and voting. Mr. Tahirsays: `No, that is wrong. In a democracy it should not bedone like that. It should be done by a simple majority ofvotes.' I have come here to oppose his amendment.
Now, if the President of the Indian Republic is to beturned out of office by a simple majority of one or by thecasting vote of the person presiding at that time, then whatwould happen?
The President will be a mere tool in the hands of themajority party of the House. We do not want a President likethat. We do not want a President who should flatter themajority party, no matter what party is in power, Congress,Socialist or Communist. We do not want the President to lookto the majority party in the House. Once elected, let himbecome impartial absolutely and not look for favours at thehands of any party. Therefore, I support the draft articleas it is. If the President is to be impeached, let him beimpeached by a majority of two-thirds of the memberspresent.
Now, Sir, I come to amendment No. 1183 moved by myFriend Prof. K. T. Shah. He wants that in clause (4) ofarticle 50, after the words "such resolution shall" thewords "be placed before the People's House and if adopted bythe latter, shall" be inserted. Article 50 lays down theprocedure for the impeachment of the President. There aretwo Houses, the Upper House and the Lower House, the Councilof States and the House of the People. Now, article 50 saysthat either of the two Houses may frame a charge against thePresident and when one House--suppose the Lower House--frames the charge, accuses or makes certain allegationsagainst the President of the Republic, the other House, theCouncil of States shall enquire into it, which means that the other House will act as judges and the House which isaccusing will be only the complaint or the prosecutor. Inlegal jurispurdence you will find that the person whoaccuses should not be the judge. That is why we have beenfighting that the judiciary should be separated from theexecutive. As soon as time permits, that is going to bedone. It suited the British Government to be the accuser aswell as the judge, but now that we are having democracy, nowthat India has become independent, the accuser should not bethe judge. Therefore I have come here to oppose theamendment moved by my Friend Prof. K. T. Shah.
The next amendment is 1185 moved by Mr. NaziruddinAhmad. His is a simple amendment. He wants that thePresident shall cease to be President shall cease to bePresident from the time when such a resolution has beenpassed, instead of the date on which the resolution ispassed. This appears to be reasonable and simple. Supposethe meeting is held at 10'clock in the morning and themotion of
*  Translation of Hindustani speech.
censure is passed, the President according to the existingclause
(4) will remain President till twelve in the night onthat date. According to the amendment of Mr. NaziruddinAhmad, the moment the Resolution is passed, the Presidentautomatically ceases to be President. I think this isreasonable and should be accepted.
Then I come to amendment No. 1186 moved by Prof. K. T.Shah that at the end of clause (4) the words "by both Housesof ParlI ament" be added. He wants that both the Houses ofParlI ament should try the President of the Republic when oneof the Houses has accused him. I do not want to repeat mayargument but what he wants is that both the accusers and thejudges should sit together and deliver judgment on the case.As the accuser should not be the judge also, I oppose thisamendment also.
Next comes amendment No. 1187 moved by my honourableFriend Kazi Syed Karimuddin. In this article, it is nowherementioned as to what is going to happen to the President of the Republic after he ceases to be the President on accountof the censure motion passed against him. When the Presidentis removed, he will be unfit to hold any office, but it mustbe mentioned in this Constitution also. I think theamendment of Mr. Karimuddin is very reasonable and Itherefore support it. When a President is removed, it shalloperate as a disqualification to hold and enjoy any officeof honour, trust or profit under the Indian Union. Ofcourse, that will be done but I want it to be in black andwhite.
The Honourable Dr. B. R. Ambedkar: Mr. Vice-President,Sir, of the many amendments which have been moved to thisarticle, I can accept only two. One is No. 1158 moved by myFriend, Mr. Gupte providing of fourteen days notice for thediscussion of a motion to impeach the President. The secondamendment which I am prepared to accept is amendment No.1160 moved by my Friend Mr. Deo, as amended by Mr. T. T.Krishnamachari. I think the original provision in the DraftConstitution did not lay down sufficient number of membersas a condition precedent for the initiation of the motion. I think the change provided by the amendment is for the betterand I am therefore prepared to accept it.
Now, Sir, I come to the other amendments which I amsorry to say I have not been able to accept but which I think call for a reply. The amendments which call for areply are the amendments moved by Prof. K. T. Shah, Nos.1151, 1171, 1173, 1176 and 1186. Sir, the amendments whichhave been moved by Prof. K. T. Shah refer to two questions.The first is the scheme of impeachment which has been laiddown in the Draft Constitution and the second relates to theright of the President to appear and defend through a lawyerbefore the House which is investigating the charge againstthe President. So far as the second amendment of Prof. K. T.Shah is concerned. I do not see that there is any necessityfor any such amendment at all; because Prof. Shah referredto the article--I think it is sub-clause (4) or (3),--itmakes ample provision for permitting the President not onlyto appear before the investigating House, but also to berepresented by any other person, namely, a lawyer. All thatProf. K. T. Shah has done is to separate this particularpart of that clause and to put it as sub-clause (3) (a) inorder to make it an independent proposition by itself. I donot think that there is any such necessity for the devicethat he has adopted.
Now, I come to the first part, namely, the drawbackswhich he has shown in the scheme of impeachment provided in the Draft Constitution. Before I proceed to reply to hispoints, I think it is desirable that the House should havebefore it a clear picture of the provisions of the schemeembodied in the Draft Constitution. Any one who analysesthis article will find that it embodies four differentpropositions. Firstly, the motion for impeachment may be initiated in either House, either in the Council ofStates or in the House of the People. Secondly, such motionmust have the support of a required number of members.Thirdly, the House which has passed the motion forinvestigation shall not be entitled to investigate thecharge. And fourthly, that
the House which has investigatedthe charge, if it finds the President guilty must do so by amajority of two-thirds.
These are the four propositions which have beenembodied in this particular article. Now Prof. Shah'sproposition is that the Upper House should have nothing todo with the impeachment of the President and that thejurisdiction to impeach the President, to investigate and tocome to its own conclusions must be solely vested in the House of the People. I have not been able to understand thereasons why Prof. K. T. Shah thinks that the Lower House isin a special way entitled to have this jurisdiction vestedin it. After all the trial of the President or hisimpeachment is intended to see that the dignity, honour and the rectitude of the office is maintained by the person whois holding that particular office. Obviously, the honour,the dignity and the rectitude of that office is not merely amatter of concern to the Lower House, it is equally a matterof concern for the Upper House as well. I do not, therefore,understand why the Upper chamber which, as I said, isequally interested in seeing that the President conductshimself in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution should be ousted from investigating orentertaining a charge of any breach of conduct on the partof the President in his integrity and it is equallyconcerned as the House of the People. Prof. K. T. Shah feltso sure about the correctness of his proposition that hesaid in the course of his argument that only those who havebeen slavishly copying the other constitutions would havethe courage to oppose his amendments. I do not mind the digwhich he has had at the Drafting Committee. As I said in myopening address, the Drafting Committee in the interests ofthis country has not been afraid of borrowing from otherconstitutions wherever they have felt that the otherconstitutions have contained some better provisions than wecould ourselves devise. But I thought Prof. K. T. Shahforgot that if there was any person so far as I am able tosee, who has practised slavish imitation of the Constitutionof the United States, I cannot point to any other individualexcept prof. Shah. (Laughter). I thought his whole schemewhich was just a substitute for the scheme of Governmentembodied in the Draft Constitution was bodily borrowed withcommas and semi-colons from the United States Constitution,and when he was defeated on his main proposition, hisworship of the United States Constitution has been soprofound, so deep, that he has been persisting in moving theother amendments which, as he himself knows, are onlyconsequential and have no substance in themselves. Itherefore do not mind the dig that he has had at theDrafting Committee.
The other proposition which Prof. K. T. Shah has soughtto introduce in the Constitution is that there should be aconcurrence of the other House. He has evidently decided toaccept the main scheme embodied in the Draft Constitution.What he wants is that even if the one House which hasinvestigated the offence has come to a conclusion, thatconclusion ought not to have effect unless it has beenadopted by the other House. I cannot understand why, forinstance, the verdict of a jury--and this is no doubt a sortof jury, which will investigate and come to a conclusion--Ido not understand why the verdict of one House, which it would have come to after investigation should be submittedto another jury. I have never known of any such principle orprecedent at all. Secondly, I do not understand what is tobe the effect if the other House does not adopt. Is theother House required to adopt only by bare majority or two-thirds majority? Supposing the other House does not adoptthe conclusion which has been arrived at by one House, whatis to be done? Obviously there will be a tie. Prof. K. T. Shah provided, in my judgment, no remedyfor the dissolution of that tie. For these reasons, I amunable to accept any of the amendments moved by Prof. K. T.Shah.
There is another amendment which I might deal withbecause it is analogous to the amendments moved by Prof. K.T.
Shah, and that is amendment No. 1178 moved by my Friend,Mr. Mohd. Tahir. He says that it is unnecessary to providefor a two-thirds majority for a charge of being guilty ofviolation of the Constitution. He thinks that a baremajority is enough. Now, Sir, I think my Friend, Mr. Mohd.Tahir has not taken sufficient notice of the fact that amotion for impeachment is very different from a motion of noconfidence. A motion of no confidence does not involve anyshame or moral turpitude. A motion of no confidence merelymeans that the party does not accept or the House does notaccept the policy of the Government. Beyond that no othersensure is involved in a no confidence motion. But, animpeachment motion stands on a totally different footing. ifa man is convicted on a motion for impeachment, itpractically amounts to the ruination of his public career.That being the difference, I think it is desirable that suchan important consequence should not be permitted to followfrom the decision of a bare majority. It is because of thisdifference that the Drafting Committee provided that theverdict of guilty should be supported by a two-thirdsmajority.
Now, Sir, I come to the amendments of my honourableFriend, Kazi Syed Karimuddin. His first amendment which Ipropose to take for consideration is amendment No. 1152. Bythis amendment he wants to add treason, bribery and otherhigh crimes and misdemeanours after the words, `violation of the Constitution'. My own view is this. The phrase`violation of the Constitution' is quite a large one and maywell include treason, bribery and other high crimes ormisdemeanours. Because treason, certainly, would be aviolation of the Constitution. Bribery also will be aviolation of the Constitution because it will be a violationof the oath taken by the President. With regard to crimes,the Members will see that we have made a different provisionwith regard to the trial of the President for any crimes ormisdemeanours that he may have made. Therefore, in my view,the addition of these words, treason and bribery, areunnecessary. They are covered by the phrase "violation of the Constitution".
His other amendment is amendment No. 1170. whereby Mr.Karimuddin seeks to provide that when an investigation isbeing made into the charge of impeachment, the Chief Justiceof India shall preside. I have no quarrel with hisproposition that any investigation that may be undertaken byany House which happens to be in charge of the impeachmentmatter should have the investigation conducted in a judicialmanner, having regard to all the provisions which areembodied in the Criminal Procedure Code and the EvidenceAct. As I said, I have no quarrel with his objective; infact, I share it. The only point is this: whether this is amatter which should be left for the two Houses to provide in the Rules of Procedure or whether it is desirable to placethis matter right in the Constitution in a definite andexpress manner. My Friend Mr. Karimuddin will see that insub-clause (3) it is provided that the House shallinvestigate, and therefore it is quite clear that both the Houses of ParlI ament in making the rules of procedure willhave to embody in it a section dealing with the procedurerelating to impeachment. Because, it may be, at one time theinitiation may take place in the Upper Chamber and trial maytake place in the Lower Chamber, and vice versa. So both the Houses will have to have a section dealing with this matterin the procedure of each House. That being so, there isnothing to prevent the legislature from setting out in thatpart of the procedure of the two Houses that wherever thatinvestigation is made either the Chief Justice shall presideor some other judicial officer may preside, and therefore itseems to me that his object will be achieved if what Isubmit it carried out by the procedural part of the Rules of the two Houses. This provision is therefore quite unnecessary.
I come to his third amendment, No. 1187. He wants that the Constitution should lay down the disqualifications whichmust necessarily arise out of a charge of guilt
onimpeachment. The language that he has borrowed I see is fromthe United States Constitution. My view with regard to this matter is this. So far as membership of the legislature isconcerned, as I pointed out on an earlier occassion, thematter is covered by the provision contained in article 83which lays down the disqualifications for membership of the legislature. As I then stated, it would be perfectlypossible for ParlI ament in laying down additionaldisqualifications to introduce a clause saying that a personwho has been impeached under the Constitution shall not bequalified to be a member of the legislature. Therefore, byvirtue of article 83, it would be perfectly possible toexclude a President who has been impeached from membershipof the legislature.
The only other matter that remains is the question ofappointment to office. It seems to me that there are severalconsiderations to be borne in mind. It is quite true that the provisions of the Draft Constitution leave this matteropen. But, I think it would be perfectly possible forParlI ament, when enacting a Civil Servants Act, as I have nodoubt the future ParlI ament will be required to do, to laydown the qualifications for public service, their emolumentsand all other provisions with regard to public service.Obviously, it would be open to ParlI ament to say that anyperson who has been impeached under the law of the Constitution shall not be a fit person to be appointed toany particular post, either an ambassadorial post, outsidethe Government, or inside the Government in any particulardepartment. Therefore, that matter, I see, can also becovered by parlI amentary legislation.